Calexico, Calif. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers and Border Patrol agents, in collaboration with Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents at the Calexico, Calif., port of entry stopped more than $400,000 in undeclared currency from leaving the U.S. late last week during an outbound enforcement operation.
The incident occurred at about 10 p.m. on Aug. 12, when an ICE agent conducting enforcement outbound operations with CBP officers and Border Patrol agents referred a white 1995 Ford F-150 pick-up truck for an intensive inspection.
The driver, a 58-year-old male Mexican national and legal resident of Phoenix, Ariz., gave officers a negative declaration to transporting more than $10,000.
A CBP K-9 team performed an examination and the currency detector dog alerted to the rear of the vehicle. CBP officers noticed anomalies with the vehicle's tailgate and removed its access plate.
CBP officers discovered several vacuum sealed clear packages containing U.S. currency hidden within the tailgate. The total cash seized was $434,720.
CBP officers arrested the driver and turned him over to ICE agents for further investigation. CBP seized the money and vehicle.
Pete Flores, San Diego CBP assistant director for trade said, "Keeping this money out of the hands of criminal organizations helps to diminish their operations, which will keep our communities safe."
This is the second large cash seizure at the Calexico port of entry this week. On Sunday, during outbound enforcement operations, CBP officers seized more than $2.1 million of undeclared currency from leaving the United States.
It is a federal offense not to declare currency or monetary instruments totaling more than $10,000 to a CBP officer upon entry or exit from the U.S. or to conceal it with intent to evade reporting requirements. Failure to declare may result in seizure of the currency and/or arrest.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.